Ausangate Snow Mountain Trek
The Ausangate Seven Day Snowy Mountain Trek is one of the most challenging and exciting Treks in Southern Peru, in its highest mountain region. The Apu (god) Ausangate is the most important mountain in the Andes of Cusco for religious reasons. It is part of a large mountain range whose peaks reach up to 6,372m (20,905 feet). The turquoise lagoons, open grasslands and forests of stone create an otherworldly environment completely detached from the modern world. This Trek is a fantastic adventure where you will be amazed by beautiful sunsets and eternal snows. You will see needles of rocks rising up to more than five thousand meters, falling chunks of ice and glacial lagoons.
It is important that participants be in a good physical condition due to the altitude and wide variation in temperatures We recommend this less-travelled road in the company of our experienced guides.
- Duration of the trek: 7 Days / 6 Nights.
- Estimated walking time: 7 to 8 hours.
- Distance of the trek: 70 km.
- Season: From March to November
- Maximum height: 5,200m (17,060 feet)
Ausangate Snow Mountain Trek 07 Days Itinerary:
Day 1: Cusco / Tinke Town
Our pick-up from Cusco will be at 9:00am for a seven hour bus trip to the small village of Tinke. We pass through beautiful countryside and several traditional villages including Urcos, Cattca and Ocongate, where we have the opportunity to stop for a while and take some pictures. We spend the first night in a rustic hostel which is in the Andean community of Tinke (3,800m, 12,470 feet).
Day 2: Tinke / Upis
The second day we start our hike at 8:00am. We will have direct contact with the local families, where we can appreciate up close the Andean lifestyle, traditions, costumes and the magnificent scenery of the Cordillera Vilcanota. With tremendous views of the Ausangate glacier as people and horses pass you on the wide trail (6372m, 20,945 ft). After lunch we walk for two hours, reaching the hot springs of Upis (4,400m, 14,436 ft).
Day 3: Upis / Arapa Pass / Lake Jatun Puca Q'ocha
After breakfast we continue our journey, a three hour morning trek. We will arrive at the first pass, named Arapa (4,850m,15,912 feet) and from there we drop down until we reach the turquoise Lake Jatun Puqa Q'ocha where we will set up camp. From the camp you can climb the small ridge to the north to get great views of Lake Vino Q'ocha (wine lake). The views of Ausangate Mountain are also wonderful in this tranquil place. Camping beside Jatun Puqa Q'ocha (red lake) you may find that you are kept awake at night by the sound of dramatic ice falls into the lake, but don’t worry it is quite safe.
Day 4: Jatun Puca Q'ocha / Ausangate Q'ocha / Palomani pass / Pampacancha
Probably the hardest day of the trek. In the morning after breakfast we ascend to the second pass of Apuchata (4,900m, 16,077 feet) with the turquoise Lake Ausangate Q'ocha below. Lake Ausangate Q'ocha is fed by the melting snows of the mountain. From the lake we climb up to the Palomani pass (5,200m 17,060 feet) which is the highest point of the trek and will get spectacular views of the Peruvian Andeas. From the pass we will follow the trail down into the valley where we rest and have lunch. Another hour of trekking brings us to our campsite at Pampacancha.
Day 5: Pampacancha / Q'omer Q'ocha
This is a day to enjoy both the scenery and the climb, as we hike up to a peak facing Ausangate Mountain to the South East (Huayrupunku). At a height of 5,450m we'll see the snowy peaks of Tres Picos and Puca Punta. Free afternoon.
Day 6: Q'omer Q'ocha / Jampa Pass / Pacchanta
After an early breakfast we descend for one hour, before climbing up to Jampa Pass, at 5,100m. From this point we start descending, passing many beautiful lakes en-route, towards the Pacchanta community where we spend our last night. There are more thermal baths here where we can enjoy the evening. We also have a large "last supper" of typical Andean food to celebrate getting this far!
Day 7: Pacchanta / Tinke / Cusco
After breakfast we continue for three hours walking to Tinke once again, where we have lunch before heading back to Cusco.
- Departure: 1:00 pm pick-up from hotel on Day One
- Return: 8.00 pm return to Cusco on Day Seven.
Included / Not included
- Pick-up at hotel in Cusco
- Bus to Tinqui village
- Professional Bilingual tour leader (two leaders for groups over 8 people)
- Horses to carry company's equipment (meals & camping equipment)
- Cook & meals (6 breakfasts / 6 lunches / 6 dinners)
- Camping equipment (tents, mattresses, tables and chairs, kitchen tent and dinner tent)
- First aid kit and Oxygen
- Bus return from Tinqui to Cusco city
- Breakfast on first day
- Tips for the crew (tour leader, cook and porters)
- Sleeping bag (can be hired in our office $3 per day)
- Horses to carry your personal items 15 kilos ($25 per day)
We recommend bringing
- Backpack and sleeping bag
- Hiking shoes or boots
- Rain coat or poncho
- Warm clothes
- Insect repellent
- Sun block, sun glasses and hat
- Water bottle
- Water purifying tables
- Flash light and knife
- Towel and toilet paper
- Snacks (chocolates, candies, cookies, etc)
- Personal medical kit
- Extra national currency (soles)